Pope Francis is insisting that if one seeks to have true ecumenical dialogue, then he must allow himself to be renewed by the Lord and to be more faithful to Him and His will.
Speaking to members of the Orientale Lumen Foundation of America, who visited the Vatican this morning, the Pope said, “Every Christian pilgrimage is not only a geographical journey, but also and above all an opportunity to take a path of inner renewal taking us ever closer to Christ our Lord.”
The Orientale Lumen Foundation of America serves Eastern Christians geographically far from their mother Churches, and works toward Christian unity.
“These dimensions,” Francis said to those in Rome on an ecumenical pilgrimage, “are absolutely essential to proceed along the road that leads us to reconciliation and full communion among all believers in Christ. There is no true ecumenical dialogue without openness to inner renewal and the search for greater fidelity to Christ and to His will.”
Upon learning that the pilgrims are honoring the memory of recently canonized Saints John XXIII and John Paul II, the Pope expressed his delight, noting “this decision underlines their great contribution to the development of ever closer relations between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Churches.”
“The example of these two saints,” Francis said, “is without doubt enriching for all of us, since they always bore witness to an ardent passion for Christian unity.”
As usual, the Pope asked those present to pray for him, saying that this prayer, “along with the intercession of these two saints, my predecessors,” should be dedicated to helping him “carry out his ministry as Bishop of Rome in the service of the communion and unity of the Church, always following the will of the Lord.”
Referring to the pilgrims’ upcoming meeting with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Fanar, the Holy Father pointed out that he too will meet with the Patriarch during his apostolic trip to Turkey at the end of November. He concluded, saying, “I beg you to convey to him my cordial and fraternal greetings, as testimony of my affection and esteem.”